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WIGGLING 'LITE' IN GUEST MODE

Is your live set in stereo?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Play Out! Performance Modulars  
Author Is your live set in stereo?
wminor
Hey friends.

I'm in the process of planning out my first few live sets, and I keep going back and forth on how much I should take panning and stereo fx in to account.

I know from my DJing days a long time ago that many club systems are mono, but I expect to be playing in at least a few situations where there might be a stereo system.

I'm curious to hear from other folks whether how important they think stereo stuff is when doing a live modular set. I appreciate that it varies a lot depending on context, so please share the types of environments you play in and the type of experience you're looking to create with your music as well.

Thanks!
authorless
If the venue isn't really small, people on the right side of the room wouldn't hear what is happening in the left speaker very well or at all. If you aren't bringing your own PA it is going to be mono.
versipellis
From my experience as an FOH engineer, many club systems are stereo now. The days of mono club systems are mostly gone.

I have stereo outs, but most of my stuff is mono (the only stereo stuff being things that pass through my FX modules like my Pico DSP).
Heliophile
Stereo can make a difference in many live situations, but will be a huge bonus if you ever want to record your live sets.
johny_gtr
Stereo is much interesting for drones and stereo bleeps. Especially in the year of stereo modules)
The Grump
I've been doing stereo for many years, but I'm starting to move into 4 mono streams, each of which are routed to panning systems in a spatialized sound environment. the first three have various movement patters, and the fourth just sits in the center, with the sub summed mono, and sent separately. Envelop is a good tool for doing this, though it's more geared for recorded material, so you'd have to record a clip, then play it through the Envelop suite. It doesn't really handle streaming live audio into it and spatializing it effectively, at least not that I've experienced. However, when it is working, it's pretty amazing, and it's free.

Stereo's cool, and it's your meat and potatoes, but it's kind of getting old. Spatialized sound is today and tomorrow, and it's just going to get better. And no, I don't mean just quad panning, I mean moving sound in a three dimensional space.
c0rpse
The Grump wrote:
Stereo's cool, and it's your meat and potatoes, but it's kind of getting old. Spatialized sound is today and tomorrow, and it's just going to get better. And no, I don't mean just quad panning, I mean moving sound in a three dimensional space.


I did a quad set in a small art studio with a friend. Monitoring was very tough. We could basically only hear the two speakers we were closest to. One of us had to walk around every once in a while to hear the other speakers and get a sense of the mix. We felt like it ended up taking away more than it added. We were also playing dance music, if that makes any difference.

My takeaway is that the performer, at least, needs to be in the center of the room.
13isaacz1
I use backing drums and often bass or samples when playing with my band and because of that the Left output on the interface is percussion and the Right is dedicated to samples or bass synth etc. This makes it a hell of a lot easier for the mixer and honestly stereo in clubs and bars is just a mess.
versipellis
The Grump wrote:
Stereo's cool, and it's your meat and potatoes, but it's kind of getting old. Spatialized sound is today and tomorrow, and it's just going to get better. And no, I don't mean just quad panning, I mean moving sound in a three dimensional space.


This is the one thing that I don't think you'll see an uptake of in club systems out of purpose-built Atmos/Ambisonics systems. There's just not enough content that utilizes this for clubs to want to install another 2 speaker stacks, and there's the logistics of running power/audio to them, as well as dealing with existing layouts (e.g. good luck setting up 2 more stacks if your club's coat check, bar, and entrance are all on the far wall).
ersatzplanet
authorless wrote:
If the venue isn't really small, people on the right side of the room wouldn't hear what is happening in the left speaker very well or at all. If you aren't bringing your own PA it is going to be mono.


The trick is only to have a few sounds panned hard left or right. Going 75% to one side is enough to fatten the sound but makes it easier to be heard by all. No some sounds that are meant to "fly around" can ignore that and go all the way. This can add a lot of tension and action to the mix.
ExtrasensoryPerception
I would say if your source/patch/system creates sounds that are spread in the stereo field via panning or spatial fx (delays, reverbs) then it's essential to maintain that during a live show.
The Grump
versipellis wrote:
The Grump wrote:
Stereo's cool, and it's your meat and potatoes, but it's kind of getting old. Spatialized sound is today and tomorrow, and it's just going to get better. And no, I don't mean just quad panning, I mean moving sound in a three dimensional space.


This is the one thing that I don't think you'll see an uptake of in club systems out of purpose-built Atmos/Ambisonics systems. There's just not enough content that utilizes this for clubs to want to install another 2 speaker stacks, and there's the logistics of running power/audio to them, as well as dealing with existing layouts (e.g. good luck setting up 2 more stacks if your club's coat check, bar, and entrance are all on the far wall).


It depends on where you are and the circles you travel in. I'm in the Bay Area, and while the Envelop System is the only major venue currently thus equipped that I am aware of, more small venues, and plenty of festivals are setting up for spatialized sound. More Ambisonics, less Atmos, partially because of the $$$ involved with outfitting a venue with a Dolby Atmos rig, versus just having a sound system capable of four corners sound with independent control over each, and having the inputs on the processors, as well as the engineer to reconfigure the processor/s so that the stacks independently listen to four or more input channels. It's not THAT big of a stretch for a lot of places. If the (four or more) stacks are independently fed, a laptop with an Envelop Decoder running on it, and a soundcard with five or more outs isn't difficult to plug into a processor, or a console that is wired to feed multiple inputs on said processor. 4-buss boards as mains are pretty well commonplace in most decent sized venues.

I can't vouch for other areas being fast to adapt to new sonic trends and technology, but I think as more artists prepare material that is easily adapted for spatialization, venues may be willing to try it out, especially if the venue owners are invited to attend evnts elsewhere that already utilize these technologies. Having the newest hottest shit in town is always an ego booster for venue owners.
calaveras
There was an article in some pro sound magazine a while ago that said stereo for live sound is pointless. With the exception that you may stereo your effects, but don't hard pan guitars, horns etc.

In my experience, this is pretty much true. The sweet spot for a large stereo sound system, where you can hear a stereo soundfield, will be like 10% of the audience. Basically the folks in the middle rows. Not so close they are getting stage wash, not so far back they are getting too much indirect reflection.

The crux of the article had to do with the kind of stereo field that works at casual listening level does not scale to 1000's of watts FOH system. I do not remember the math, but it had to do with the same kind of principles behind line arrays, and transducer coupling. So it was an issue of SPL, distance and frequency. I remember one part said that if the left and right arrays were only 20 or so feet apart it would be fine. But when you have a stage that is 80 feet across you lose that stereo. And when the speakers are close enough to each other for stereo, you are only getting that benefit to people relatively close to them.


After I read that article I started noticing that large arena shows were using more than 2 arrays to give a wider stereo image. So they might have center column is 'right' and columns on both sides of stage are 'left'.
I saw Rush like a dozen years ago play with a quad setup at Oaklands Coliseum. Which sounded good for what a horrible space that is.
NastyNachos
This is an interesting thread. I've played clubs that run mono mixes and it always bums me out a little just because I like using stereo effects on my master. Like most here, I hardly pan anything on my mixer but I love running an LFO into tilt on the Overseer to make the stereo field go crazy every once and a while. It can be easy to over do it in a club with a wide floorplan, but its still fun to push stuff around every once and a while to "explore the space" as Christopher Walken would say.
Cybananna
This is cool to read. I only use mono all the time. I’m interested in trying stereo because most of my stuff is pretty odd and psychedelic and could be nice that way. On the other hand it’s also pummeling at times and I like mono for that.
BananaPlug
Cybananna wrote:
This is cool to read. I only use mono all the time

Me too. Initially for practical reasons. Working in mono has trained me to create voices which are more distinct from each other. A good thing to practice anyway.
MindMachine
I always wanted to experiment with Eno's three speaker set-up in a large space with large PA cabinets.

http://music.hyperreal.org/artists/brian_eno/onland-txt.html
James_Fredrickson
If you plan on recording your performances, you can always add width with postprocessing.
Deepwave33
Stereo live can be hit or miss, usually many more misses, and can sometimes make things sound weaker if too heavily relied upon for the main feel of the sound. Either way you go, make sure it still sounds good in mono.
timcross
I always play out in stereo, from a Befaco Hexmix. The elements in stereo are: Clouds as a voice, Chronoblob 2 and Tip top Z-DSP. All the main voices are mono.

I don't think the difference is huge, between this and mono. But think it's worth it for the extra magic it adds.
minigmgoit
13isaacz1 wrote:
and honestly stereo in clubs and bars is just a mess.


This essentially

I'd avoid doing live stereo stuff unless you're music/performance really requires it. In my experience despite having stereo PA's not much care is put into utilising the stereo field by in house techies beyond doing a rough drum mix. Not knowing about your setup and what you're trying to achieve will probably result in a less than satisfactory result.
Pelsea
Depends on the venue, and how much control I have over the sound system. In a concert hall with a properly set up stereo rig, I'll do stereo or even quad. In less formal venues, I pipe everything straight down the middle.
paranormind
Interesting topic, I'm going to perform at the next Powwow Tokyo and that will be my first time playing in stereo, I recently acquired a X-Pan and I had to use it we're not worthy
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